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    Marked Down But Not Giving It Out

    | Helsinki, Finland | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Money

    (It is the 1990s. We have ‘marks’ as our currency. I work in the grocery store, and my duty is to sell fish and other seafood. A women approaches me.)

    Customer: “Excuse me, can you change this thousand mark bill into one 500, four 100′s,one 50, four 10′s and ten coins of 1 mark?”

    Me: “I’m sorry madam, I can’t. I don’t have a cash register here at all and I’m afraid that even cashiers aren’t allow to change a thousand mark bill, because it is early in the Saturday morning and we need to have small change in our cash registers. But there’s no harm asking; the cash registers are over there.”

    Customer: “No, no, I meant that can you change this from your own money?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t. I’m a college student and work here only part time and since I’ve just paid my rent, I don’t even have that kind of a money in my bank account.”

    Customer: “I’m not interested what you have or don’t have in your bank account. I want you to change this for me. Take the money from your pockets.”

    Me: “Well, as I don’t have that kind of the money in my bank account, unfortunately I don’t have that kind of money in my pockets, either.”

    Customer: “I don’t believe you. Show me your pockets!”

    Me: *showing* “As you can see, the only thing in my pocket is this handkerchief.”

    Customer: “But you are a woman, you surely have a hand bag, don’t you?”

    Me: “Well, yes I do.”

    Customer: “So, where is it?”

    Me: “It’s in my locker, in our locker room.”

    Customer: “So, why won’t you go to your hand bag and fetch the money from there?”

    Me: “I’m afraid I can’t leave, because I’m the only seller here right now, and it wouldn’t be any use anyway. I can assure you that I don’t have 1000 marks in my purse either.”

    Customer: “So, why do you work here if you can’t even help a customer by changing my bill into a smaller bills and coins?”

    Me: “I work here because I need to finance my studies.”

    Customer: “Some fine financing! I can’t believe you won’t be able, or willing, to help me out!”